Can Geese Eat Cabbage? Is it Safe?

As a matter of course, geese predominantly eat plant matter. They aren’t just herbivores, though, and do eat various kinds of animal protein when in the wild and in captivity, but the majority of their nutritional and calorie intake comes from plants. That’s just the way it is…

two geese eating cabbage
two geese eating cabbage leaves

Speaking about domestic geese, many owners will supplement their usual diet with fresh, green vegetables. While this is usually a good idea, they still can’t eat every vegetable there is. How about something like cabbage? Can geese eat cabbage safely?

Yes, cabbage is safe for geese and is a great, well-rounded nutritional option for them. Geese tend to love it, and it is packed with vitamins and minerals that they need, including vitamin K, B vitamins, iron, and calcium.

Believe it or not, cabbage is so good for geese that it can be a true staple for them. Although it won’t give geese everything they need to thrive, it can supply most of it, and as long as you round out their diet with some other choice inclusions you can feed it to your geese every single day if you want to. If that sounds good to you, there will be more that you’ll want to know; I’ll tell you about it in the rest of this article.

Do Geese Like Cabbage?

Yes, definitely! I have never seen or heard of a goose that doesn’t like cabbage.

When you stop to think about it, cabbage looks very much like the ideal food that a goose would like: it is crisp but tender, leafy and green. Three things that these big birds always love when it’s dinner time.

I’ll predict you won’t have to do a single thing to get your flock to start eating cabbage- just hand it over!

Is Cabbage a Healthy Food for Geese?

Yes, it sure is! Cabbage is a phenomenally healthy food for geese, truly ideal in many ways. Cabbage is an easily digestible source of energy for them, though it is not particularly calorie-dense, but the major advantage is that it has tons of essential nutrients that all geese, of all ages, have to have.

If we take time to break down the nutritional content of cabbage, which does vary somewhat from type to type, we see that it contains a huge assortment of vitamins, predominantly B complex vitamins in the form of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 backed up with a little bit of folate.

Cabbage is also a phenomenally rich source of vitamins C and K.

The mineral content of cabbage is likewise very impressive, as it has a huge amount of manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc was just a little bit of naturally occurring sodium.

And to top it all off, cabbage is a hydrating choice for geese which can help them beat heat during the late spring and summer.

If you look at all of these nutrients together, they will improve virtually every facet of a goose’s overall health, including the growth and healing of various tissues, organ function, skeletal repair and maintenance, the quality of connective tissue, feathering, egg production and circulation.

Truly, this is a tremendous amount of benefits from just one, common vegetable that you can add to their diet!

Is Raw Cabbage Okay for Geese?

Yes, it sure is. And I’ll tell you right now that giving your geese raw cabbage is the very best way that you could serve it to them. It is tender and easy for them to eat and digest, and also has the best possible amount of nutrients by type.

Is Cooked Cabbage Okay for Geese?

Yes, cooked cabbage is also okay for geese with one caveat: don’t serve it to them if it has been prepared with any sugar, salt, butter, oil or any other common ingredients that we add to our own recipes. That stuff is never okay or good for them.,,

But, I would also advise you to avoid giving your geese cooked cabbage regardless of added ingredients.

Even if it is cooked plain, when you cook cabbage it dramatically reduces the overall nutritional content, specifically the vitamins, and it doesn’t really make it any easier for them to eat.

You’ll be wasting time and effort to give your geese cabbage that is less healthy! Skip the cooking and let them have it raw.

Is Green Cabbage Safe for Geese?

Yes, it is. All kinds of green cabbage are just fine for your flock.

Is Red Cabbage Safe for Geese?

It sure is. Red cabbage is healthy, wholesome, tasty, and a great choice for geese.

How About White Cabbage?

Yes, white cabbage is also just fine for your flock. Any kind of true cabbage that you have is safe and good for geese.

Can Geese Safely Eat Coleslaw?

Yes, but only if it is raw, plain coleslaw mix, not prepared coleslaw with dressing, spices and seasonings.

Remember what I just said about added ingredients up there in the section about cooked cabbage? That warning applies to coleslaw.

Feeding this stuff, and prepared coleslaw, to your geese is only going to radically increase the calorie count and also severely upset their digestive system. Don’t risk it.

Can Cabbage Hurt Geese in Any Way?

No, assuming that they’re still getting a complete diet that covers all of their nutritional requirements and that you don’t feed them too much cabbage. Cabbage is great and extremely healthy, but it is not nutritionally complete, and so geese cannot subsist on it alone.

As long as you keep these two small considerations in mind, cabbage should never harm your birds.

How Often Should Geese Eat Cabbage?

Your geese can eat cabbage often, enjoying large servings about four times a week or smaller servings daily as long as they are still getting the other foods that they require. As mentioned above it is an excellent option for geese and will do wonders for their overall health.

But do keep in mind that they cannot live on cabbage alone, and I still recommend that you switch out cabbage for other greens periodically so they don’t get bored. This will also help to improve their overall digestive health.

What’s the Best Way to Serve Cabbage to Geese?

Giving cabbage to geese is a cinch. My preferred method is to chop or shred washed, raw cabbage. Then serve it to them however you give them their other foods.

On the ground or in a feeder. If your birds are self-sufficient and need a little bit of stimulation, you can roughly split or quarter a head of cabbage and let them nibble on it.

Another alternative is to give them finely shredded cabbage mixed in with other foods that they like as a sort of goose salad.

Keep in mind that you can buy large, economy bags of plain coleslaw mix for the purpose of making mealtime prep really easy.

Don’t Feed Geese Rotting or Moldy Cabbage

You should never give your flock any old, rotting, or moldy cabbage. The temptation is definitely there if you let your own cabbage get too old in the fridge, but remember that birds, including geese, are highly vulnerable to various foodborne illnesses and those present from mold in particular.

The general rule that I myself follow is I will not serve my flock any vegetables that I would feel uncomfortable eating myself. I definitely don’t eat moldy lettuce or cabbage, so I’m not giving it to them!

Is Cabbage Safe for Goslings, Too?

Yes, it sure is. Cabbage is a remarkably good option for goslings. However, do be sure that they are still getting the required variety in their diet so they are hitting all of their nutritional checkboxes.

Goslings are young and delicate, and if they don’t get everything they need in their diet to develop properly, their health will start to suffer quickly.

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